H E L L O
Congratulations on the incoming baby in your life, and hello from me.
In the busy-ness of life, it’s not often that we set aside some time to appreciate what our bodies can do.
Scheduling in a maternity session is the perfect way to celebrate the everyday miracles that happen during this gestation process.
Even through the exhaustion, back pain, and the nausea, your body is making another human! If that’s not worth celebrating, then well – I don’t know what is.
WHEN TO BOOK
A question that comes up a lot is, “When is the best time to book maternity photos?” This is an important one to get right – most people aren’t up for booking two maternity sessions in the same pregnancy. But the answer isn’t so clear cut. It’s different for everyone. So, how do you know?
As a rule of thumb, anytime between 28 and 34 weeks is a good time. But babies will arrive when they want to, so if you’re having twins or you suspect your little one might be making their big entrance into the world early, it’s safer to do it sooner rather than later. If you’ve been pregnant before, chances are you’ll show earlier, so you could book earlier. The earlier you book, the more options we’ll have with posing and location. After reading this, if you felt you have booked too early – reach out and let’s change it!
If you feel a little nervous, just know that this is totally normal. Most of us feel a little awkward in front of a camera!
During the photoshoot, don’t worry if you don’t know what to do. It’s my job to direct you so you don’t feel awkward or uncertain. Most people just automatically look at the camera and smile, but I’ll probably tell you to look away, or down towards your belly, or up to the sky. I’m sure you have lots of photos in your phone of you looking at the camera and smiling – I want this to be different.
I find that some of the most authentic images come when you’re absorbed in whatever it is you’re doing, whether that’s making your partner laugh, talking to the little guy in your womb, or picking flowers. I promise I’ll let you know when it’s appropriate to look at the camera. Until then, just do your thing and let yourself be however you want to be.
Depending on how your pregnancy is unfolding, doing a shoot could be really empowering or really exhausting. Sometimes, it’s a combination of the two. I feel confident in my ability to take gorgeous photographs of you regardless of whether we’re in your home or at the lake by water – but I don’t want to push you beyond your physical capacity. I’d rather play it safe so that you feel relaxed enough to focus on just enjoying yourself and capturing this super special time in your life.
As a little precaution, it’s good to get the all-clear from your doctor. They’ll know how much you can exert yourself and we can plan our shoot accordingly.
The day before the shoot, throw some things in a bag that will support you during our session. These things could be the following, or whatever else comes to mind.
- Extra clothes for if the weather changes or a different outfit just for a different look
- Snacks and water
- Hairbrush, extra makeup
- Comfy shoes for walking with the change of shoes you may actually want to photograph in
To dress or not to dress… is always the question.
For maternity shoots, nude and raw images can be incredibly stunning, enhancing your expectant curves and featuring your blooming belly. But depending on how you want to remember your pregnancy and who you expect to see the images, there are a couple of things to consider.
If you want to keep your clothes on, here’s what we recommend wearing:
- Maxi dresses
- Dresses that have a high waistline or slit. Fabrics with lots of texture, like lace or sheer fabric
- Long flowy skirts with a crop top or bandeau bra
- Cozy, knit pieces
Usually the best route is to go with something that you know is comfy and fits well. Wear things that you’ve already worn before.
We want you focusing on being you in front of the camera, not worrying about that itchy tag or the way the shirt rides up your back in a weird way.
Wear something that’ll keep you cool in summer, warm in winter, and that’ll make you feel like the stunning mama that you are. Bring a couple outfits so that we can play with different options and combinations.
Be careful with prints, logos, and bright colors as sometimes these detract from the most important parts of the photograph – you!
Once we pick a location together, we can discuss color palettes that will help you stand out beautifully against your environment.
If you’re leaning towards your birthday suit or showing that belly quite a bit, I’d advise you to moisturize your belly and stay tuned into your comfort levels.
Also, keep in mind if you are wearing a tight to belly dress that hugs that belly, you may want to go without undergarments as sometimes they can squeeze in and show rolls more or even the under garment lines can be seen in your portraits.
Here’s what I promise you:
You can change your mind at any point.
I will continuously check in with you to make sure you’re still comfortable.
I will listen. Please feel free to let me know about the borders of your personal space.
Let’s make this as easy as possible for ourselves. That is to say, let’s shoot somewhere with easy access to a bathroom, is not too far from the parking lot, and doesn’t require you to hike extensively to get there.
I know that sometimes choosing a location can feel pretty overwhelming – there are so many beautiful and photogenic places in this world. But I’m interested in places that hold a special significance for you. This could be your bedroom, your backyard, the local downtown museum, the lake, or your favorite park. Where do you feel most at peace?
Don’t worry if nowhere comes to mind, I have so many places up my sleeve that I know you would love.
It can be incredibly special having your loved ones join you in front of the camera for your maternity shoot. There’s something so heartwarming about being able to look at the photographs and actually see the connection between yourself, your unborn little one, your partner and/or your other soon-to-be big siblings.
Getting them on board can sometimes be a bit of a struggle – though it’s often easier to get the younger kids to come along than it is a hesitant partner. Letting kids be silly, and giving them the chance to see the session as a game is our best chance of capturing some joyful, authentic moments.
If your partner is dragging their heels, try to let them know that it’s normal to be less-than-thrilled about being in front of the camera. The photographs that you’ll be able to look back on will make it all worth it.
Besides, it’ll be way more fun than they think! I won’t make anyone stand in front of me and look into the lens the entire time – we’ll be doing things in the most relaxed way possible so nobody has to force a smile or feel overwhelmed and awkward.
If you’re not one of the lucky ones blessed with that pregnancy glow – or if you are but just want to take the opportunity to get pampered – I’d recommend getting your makeup done. Whether you’re doing it yourself, or whether you treat yourself to a professional, it’s always a bit fun to get gussied up.
Why not go get a subtle manicure while you’re at it? I’ll be getting you to frame your belly with your hands at least a couple of times during the session and being self-conscious about flaky nail polish or chipped nails is not what I want you to be thinking about.
And as for hair, I’m a sucker for the way a wild mane blows in the breeze. If you’re going to go and get your hair done, steer clear of the up-do. With your hair down, you get movement, romance, and some perfect slices of imperfection in the best possible way.
Don’t forget we’re here to capture you as you are. The goal is to still look like yourself.
AFTER THE SESSION
Bottom line? I want this photoshoot to give you an opportunity to slow down and appreciate your own brilliance.
If you’ve gotten to the end of this guide and you’ve got a few questions swirling around in your head that I haven’t answered, please pick up the phone and give me a call. I want you to feel at ease and prepared going into this session.
Your photos are going to be amazing. I can’t wait!